General Motors Australian unit Holden has introduced two new locally-built 'Global V6' engines for its mainstay large-size Commodore range.

Holden said the updated 3.6- and new three-litre V6s were the first in an Australian made vehicle to use spark ignition direct injection (SIDI) technology. The 2010 models with the new motors get new SIDI badges but few other changes.

Holden claimed "significantly improved" fuel efficiency, reduced CO2 emissions and better performance thanks to the new engines combined with a new six-speed automatic transmission, in place of a four speeder, and other measures such as low rolling resistance tyres.

Holden exports the Commodore branded Chevrolet to the Middle East and South America. A deal for Pontiac exports to the US ended when parent GM announced plans to axe that brand. There are hopes the Australian cars could return to the US badged Chevrolet, possibly in a bid to enter the police cruiser market.